Parish Council Minutes Sept 07
KING’S SOMBORNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Councilheld in the Epworth Hall, King’s Sombornecommencing at 7.00pm on Monday 3 September 2007
Present: Cllr D Bidwell (Chairman), Cllr R Bevan (Items 1 to 17), Cllr R Dyke (Items 1 to 7), Cllr F Fahy, Cllr R Harwood, Cllr R Lane, Cllr G Pearson, Cllr R Pidgeon, Cllr D Room, Cllr J Werrett
In Attendance: Mr P J Storey (Clerk to King’s Somborne Parish Council)
Public Session: Borough Councillor Tony Ward, Dr Stephen Rake – Footpath Warden, and Mr Colin Matthews – Tree Warden, were present for all or part of the meeting.
Mr Jim Thomas, Southern Water Wastewater Networks Western Area Manager, updated Members on the results of the CCTV survey of the sewers following the overflow problems experienced earlier in the year. A full CCTV survey had been completed of the main sewers but some surveys of minor sewers remained outstanding. The survey had illustrated some leakage on the main sewer for which repairs were in hand and a number of leaking private sewers. These would be the subject of a report to Test Valley Borough Council Environmental Health who would take follow up action with the private householders as appropriate. Southern Water was working closely with the Environment Agency to adopt a pro-active approach in future in order to anticipate problems before they arose. In particular, the efficiency of the pumping station on Old Vicarage Lane was now being monitored continuously for efficiency and new contingency plans for managing ground water were being developed. In response to questions from Members, Mr Thomas confirmed that all known leaks in the system would be sealed before the on-set of Winter and the pumping station’s efficiency would be maximised. Better methods of communication with customers would be introduced and the Parish website was accepted as another method of getting information across. However, he did caution that should the pumping station become overloaded the question of disposal into the stream would remain an option but not one taken lightly; it was a question of balancing the issues of cost with the possible environmental and wildlife damage caused. An assurance was given that any waste disposed of in this way would have been filtered significantly but could still contain bacteria, hence the need for personal cleanliness if involved with the stream at this time. Mr Thomas noted that the Parish continued to grow and commented that it was the developer’s responsibility to pay for any necessary downstream pipe enlargement. On funding, he also stated that Southern Water had statutory responsibilities to meet and there was often a balance to be achieved between what was required and what could be afforded. However, he did encourage anyone with a problem to contact him and he asked the Parish Council to make local people aware that, if they did not get any existing problems with their privately owned sewers repaired, the impact could adversely affect others in the locality. Finally, Mr Thomas agreed that Southern Water would make good the damage caused by the tankers to the verges in Old Vicarage Lane. The Chairman thanked Mr Thomas for a lively and encouraging presentation. (Clerk’s note:Mr Thomas can be contacted on 02380 869947 or e-mail– firstname.lastname@example.org)
1. Announcements by the Chairman
1.1 The Chairman congratulated everyone involved with the Village of the Year presentation on achieving such a high standard and confirmed that the judges had been very impressed with the portrayal of life in the community. The prize for being the best Village in Test Valley would be presented at the HAPTC AGM on 13 October 2007.
2. Reports from the Tree Warden, Footpath Warden and others
2.1 Mr Matthews, the Tree Warden, reported that the dead tree in the Cemetery would be replaced and asked that the clematis in the hedge be removed. He also asked if farmers could be encouraged to each cut their hedgerows at the same time and when doing so ensure that any young trees were not damaged in the process. There was general support for the principle although getting agreement by all concerned was thought difficult. However, Mr Matthews would draft a suitable letter for Members to consider and stated his willingness to identify trees under threat.Action: Mr Matthews
2.2 Dr Rake, the Footpath Warden, reported that the July walk had attracted 13 walkers and the August walk had attracted 9 walkers. A schedule of walks for September to March had been published.
3.1 No Members absent.
4. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 2 July 2007
4.1 Proposed Cllr Pidgeon, Seconded Cllr Dyke, RESOLVED unanimously that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 July 2007 be approved.
5. To consider any Matters Arising from those Minutes
16.1 Cllrs Bevan and Dyke had researched the need for affordable housing in the area and submitted notes on the current situation to Test Valley Borough Council. The survey had shown that the need was more for rented accommodation than houses to buy. 18.5 Cllr Fahy had liaised with the owner of Yew Tree House over preserving the yew tree in the front garden and would produce a leaflet outlining the history of the tree for sale in an attempt to raise funds for the tree’s upkeep.
6. Declarations of Interest
6.1 None declared.
7. To consider Correspondence Received
7.1 Details of correspondence received since the last meeting had been circulated with the agenda; the actual correspondence was available at the meeting for Members to peruse, as required. The Clerk drew attention to correspondence received since circulation of the meeting papers and highlighted two items requiring Members’ attention. It was agreed that no points needed to be raised in response to Test Valley Borough Council’s letter on changes to the number or positioning of polling stations and there were no known activities which might be affected by the National Grid’s proposal to lay a new pipeline by Up Somborne and Furzedown Road between April and October next year.. Cllr Dyke left the meeting at this point
8. Report on Planning Applications Considered
8.1 The following responses had been made to recent planning applications received:
* 07/01641/FULLS – The Old School House, Hoplands Farm – change of use from nursery school to work and living unit – application withdrawn
* 07/01676/FULLS – Marsh Court Farm, Stockbridge Road – change of use from redundant farm buildings to offices, research, light industry/storage – application withdrawn
* 07/01698/TREES – Smiths Place, Stockbridge Road – prune apple and sycamore, fell 2 elder and 8 damson – no objection
* 07/01937/FULLS – Fernlea Nursery, Furzedown road – erect agricultural worker’s dwelling – no objection
* 07/02113/FULLS – Furzedown Farm – building refurbishment – no objection
* 07/02147/FULLS – Marsh Court Manor, Marsh Court Lane – erection of replacement boundary fence to front – no objection
* 07/02240/TREES – 5 Forge Close – fell leylandii and common salix – no objection
* PLANS/KS/TV230 – wastewater treatment works, Romsey Road – erect outfall headwall – no comments made
8.2 Cllr Harwood sought to confirm the arrangement whereby planning applications were considered and by whom. There was some agreement on the occasional need to consult more and Cllr Room would present a paper for discussion at the next meeting.Action: Cllr Room
9. RFO’s Report and Budget Monitoring
9.1 An analysis of budget against actual spend to date, together with a forecast out-turn had been circulated with the agenda papers. The RFO gave a verbal presentation on the Council’s financial state of affairs at the end of the fifth month of the financial year. The Council’s bank balances stood at £52456.37 which included a grant of £9,555 specifically for the trim trail. The RFO also indicated he was reviewing the costs of repairing the seats around the Villages and the implementing the remedial work identified in the RoSPA playground inspection report, together with seeking costs of providing a tiny tots slide, and would be presenting these at a future meeting.
9.2 Final estimates of cost had been received for the installation of the Trim Trial and after allowing for the award from Sport for All, £1392.29 remained to be funded.
9.3 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Lane, RESOLVED unanimously that £1392.29 be granted towards the costs of installing the trim trail.
9.4 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Lane, RESOLVED unanimously that the RFO’s report be accepted.
10. Payment of Accounts
10.1 Proposed Cllr Pidgeon, Seconded Cllr Bidwell, RESOLVED unanimously that the following accounts be approved for payment:
To For Net VAT Gross Chq
Mr P Storey
Mr Rebbeck Grounds maint
Southampton Uni NATS report
To For Net VAT Gross
Mr P Storey Salary/expenses
CPRE Annual sub
Southern Water 3 Fields
Wicksteed Leisure Safety repair estimate
Test Valley BC Grass cutting
Test Valley BC Election costs
Bishopstoke PC Broadband (Jul/Aug)
Assn Burial Authorities Subscription
Mr M Rebbeck Grounds maint
KS Football Club Grant
HAPTC Cllr training
11. To consider and, if appropriate, approve a grant to Vitalise who provide essential breaks for carers
11.1 An application had been received from Vitalise for financial assistance in meeting the costs they incurred in providing essential breaks for carers.
11.2 Proposed Cllr Bidwell, Seconded Cllr Pidgeon, RESOLVED unanimously that £100 be granted to Vitalise to help meet the costs of providing essential breaks for carers.
12. To consider providing a bio-diversity conservation area
12.1 Some discussion ensued on the value of creating a bio-diversity conservation area but detailed discussion was deferred for six months.Action: Clerk
13. To consider changes in use of Parish Council owned land on the Recreation Ground including provision of tennis/multi-purpose courts
13.1 Cllr Fahy introduced a paper on behalf of the King’s Somborne Tennis Club outlining the Club’s preferred site for two tennis/multi-purpose courts. Various options had been considered by the club but the preferred site was between the hedges/fence and skate ramp on land owned by the Parish Council. Such a position could accommodate two courts and was within easy walking distance of the changing facilities and showers in the Village Hall. The area was also flat, minimising installation costs, and would be in direct line to the Village Hall from the School who had expressed an interest in using the facility. However, the Football Club had previously objected to the relocation of the junior pitch goal posts although further informal consultation with the Football Club and the Cricket Club had established that the junior pitch goal posts could be relocated to the cricket outfield and removed when cricket was played. The matter would be considered further at the next meeting.
13.2 Cllr Bevan raised an objection and highlighted the Andover News article written in May 1931 at the time the parcel of land was sold to the Parish Council which stated that the transfer was made for the benefit of children of the Village. However, Cllr Bidwell quoted from the actual conveyance which made no mention of ‘children’ but cited ‘Recreation Ground’. No decision was taken at this time but Cllr Fahy was asked to produce a plan of the location for future consideration by Members and also by the Village Hall Development Committee who would wish to incorporate these ideas into the planning for the Village Hall.
Action: Cllr Fahy
(The Chairman has indicated that the next meeting’s agenda would include the two items: “The principle of the Parish Council’s role in determining how the land it owns should be used in the general public interest” and “The proposed provision of tennis/multi-purpose courts”.)
14. To determine Parish Council representation at the HAPTC AGM on 13 October 2007
14.1 It was agreed that Cllr Bidwell and the Clerk should represent the Parish Council at the HAPTC AGM on 13 October 2007 and vote on resolutions as they saw fit. It was also noted the Village of the Year presentations would precede the AGM.
15. To receive reports from Members on external meetings at which they have represented the Parish Council or have attended in any other capacity
15.1 Cllr Pidgeon had attended the Scouts AGM and reported on their recent break-in. and vandalism
15.2 Cllr Werrett had attended a recent councillor training seminar sponsored by HAPTC and had found it useful.
15.3 Cllr Bidwell had responded to Test Valley Borough Council on behalf of the Test Valley Association of Town and Parish Councils saying that parish councils in general objected to the proposed air corridor over Test Valley as being an unwelcome and unwarranted intrusion into Test Valley. Whilst recognising that independent advice recognised that additional noise levels were unlikely there would still be extra intrusion into our environment at times when there were none at present. Additionally, there was the risk of increased fuel dumping and smell.
15.4 Cllrs Bevan and Dyke had met informally with Test Valley Borough Council Housing Development Officer to discuss the potential for additional affordable housing within King’s Somborne parish. Some possible sites had been identified subject to a formal housing needs survey being undertaken at some time in the future.
16. Parish Plan
16.1 Action to date was reviewed. Cllrs Bidwell and Werrett had met with Hampshire Highways West staff to discuss a range of matters as outlined in the Parish Plan. In particular, discussion centred on the A3057 which was recognised as a strategic route but for which there were no plans at present to widen or resurface; the recent surface topping was designed to reduce the risk of skidding. A national study was under way into the use of satnav with a view to encouraging commercial traffic onto more appropriate roads. Investigation would also be undertaken into the value of installing warning signs of speed camera activity and the ’20 is plenty’ initiative was likely to be implemented in the vicinity of the school in 2008. It was agreed that this and the introduction of speed indication device (SID) warnings would be a positive step forward but disappointment was expressed that fixed speed cameras were not available to us as the road was not considered a danger spot and some members argued that more pressure should be applied for their introduction.
16.2 Other safety measures discussed included a School Travel Plan being developed and the problems generated by overgrowing hedges. Further meetings would be held on a six-monthly basis but more information was available on both the Village and Hampshire Highways West websites, together with forms for residents to report defects or maintenance issues directly to the highways engineers. A full report was on the Village website.
16.3 Cllr Pearson commented that elsewhere 100 yard warning signs had been installed to warn of a speed reduction and give drivers advanced warning and he thought these could be of benefit on the Village approaches.
16.4 Cllr Fahy opined that portable speed limiters were a waste of time and pressed for a more positive approach to be adopted with Hampshire Highways over the introduction of permanent speed indicator signs which seemed to be welcomed by motorists and were effective. The view was also expressed that the priority for the throughway at the Cross Stores junction between Winchester Road and Church Road should be Winchester Road rather than Church Road as at present, giving priority to traffic approaching the junction on Winchester Road; Cllr Werrett noted this for his next meeting with Hampshire Highways.
17. Clerk’s Report
17.1 3 Fields. The Clerk read out a letter of complaint received from Mrs M Edmonds regarding the maintenance of the edges and entrances of the 3 Fields and the generally poor state of maintenance elsewhere within the Village. There was general sympathy for the comments made. Whilst Members recognised the financial constraints under which the Borough Council worked, they agreed to increase the frequency with which the Parish maintenance contractor attended to Parish owned areas. Cllr Bidwell had visited Mrs Edmonds and the Clerk would write to confirm the actions to be taken.Action: Clerk
17.2 Litter campaign. Test Valley Borough Council had introduced a high profile litter campaign to remind everyone that a fixed penalty fine of £75 was issued to anyone seen dropping litter including chewing gum and smoking related matter. Notices were now displayed on the Parish notice boards as part of the campaign.
17.3 HAPTC Partnership Engagement seminar. HAPTC were organising a seminar on partnership working and community engagement and it was agreed that Cllr Bidwell would attend at a cost of £10.Action: Cllr Bidwell
17.4 Community emergency planning. The Clerk had obtained an emergency planning template from Test Valley Borough Council and would complete it for Members’ consideration.Action: Clerk Cllr Bevan left the meeting at this point
18. Environmental Matters
18.1 Cllr Harwood confirmed that Mr Michael Pratt from Test Valley Borough Council would attend the next meeting and give a presentation on recycling. Cllr Harwood had written an article for The Gauntlet magazine on recycling and asked that the Clerk place suitable notices on the Parish notice boards to advertise the presentation. It was also thought appropriate to book the Village Hall in anticipation of large numbers attending.Action: Clerk
(Clerk’s note: the meeting and presentation will be in the Epworth Hall as the Village Hall is booked on this evening.)
18.2 Cllr Harwood voiced concern at the inconsistency between councils nationwide on the treatment of recycling and saw a clear need for more standardisation. However, Borough Councillor Ward explained that many procedures were ‘unprofitable’ for the Borough Council to undertake and Hampshire County Council did not have the facilities to recycle everything. Cllr Harwood also made the point, following a comment made by Mr Thomas from Southern Water, that if Test Valley Borough Council was to conduct its own drains CCTV survey, having received the evidence from Southern Water’s own CCTV survey, this could only be deemed as wasteful. This point was noted.
19. Highway Matters
19. No further matters were raised under this heading.
20. To consider Test Valley Borough Council matters of interest to the Parish
20.1 Borough Councillor Ward commented that although an extra 10% of houses would be built in the South East under plans devised by SEERA none would be in the Romsey area. He also noted the wish that the likely increase in heavy trucks resupplying the new Tesco store facility to be built on the old Andover airfield site should use the A303 rather than the A3057.
21. To receive reports on the Parish recreational facilities and Cemetery
21.1 A number of maintenance points were raised and these would be programmed into the work programme for Mr Rebbeck.Action: Clerk
21.2 Cllr Pearson drew Members’ attention to the increasing number of motorists ignoring the ‘No entry’ signs at the field end of the approach road to the Village Hall instead of using the exit by the Scout Hut and recommended that further consideration be given to the installation of bollards at the entrance reducing it to footpath status. This would be considered further at a future meeting.
21.3 Cllr Pidgeon gave details of the painting work completed in the Cemetery and he and the Clerk were warmly thanked for their efforts. Cllr Pidgeon also mentioned that kerb memorials had been installed in contravention of Council policy. The Clerk indicated that one kerb had been authorised in error and that sensitive action was in hand to eventually have the offending kerbs removed.Action: Clerk
21.4 Cllr Pidgeon also reported that neighbours had flail trimmed the Cemetery hedges, which were Parish Council property, and had left unsightly debris which needed to be cleared up. At the same time, concern was expressed that young trees, which had been encouraged to grow through the hedges, had also been cut.Action: Clerk
22. Date, time and place of next meeting
22.1 The next meeting of the Parish Council would be on Monday 1 October at 7.00pm in the Epworth Hall, King’s Somborne.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the Meeting at 10.05pm
Clerk to the Council